War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0062 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Answer. That of assistant adjutant-general.

Question by General McDOWELL. Under what circumstances was Special Orders, Numbers 68, of May 26, issued?

The witness here referred to the special-order-book before the court.

Answer. General McDowell directed me to order Colonel Meredith to have the house and corn of Mr. Hoffman protected, and he told me at the same time that a similar order had already been given, and directed me to make this order strong and peremptory. With these directions I wrote the order. General McDowell, did not see the order I drew up to my knowledge. Those direction that I speak of was all he had to do with it, so far as I know.

Question by General McDOWELL. Did the witness understand the instruction to make the order peremptory to refer to the failure of the commanding officer to comply with previous orders?

Answer. I understood that the cause of the previous directions given me to make the order peremptory was because the first order had not been obeyed, the property having been injured since; and, further, to enforce military discipline.

Question by the COURT. Did General McDowell, in giving you instructions to prepare this order, indicate to you where the corn was, whether in the house or in the barns?

Answer. I do not recollect. I will say further that the impression left on my mind was that Colonel Meredith had violated an express written order, and he was to be given to understand that he had one more opportunity, and only one, to comply with it.

Question by the COURT. Did he indicate to you corn had been taken from the property of Hoffman for public use or anything on that subject?

Answer. I have no recollection of anything about corn or grain for public use.

Question by the COURT. Have you knowledge whether any measures were taken under the direction of General McDowell to ascertain how much corn would be protected by that order or how many persons would be fed upon it?

Answer. I can only give my general impression. All that I know in regard to this matter, except the directions of General McDowell himself in regard to the order, was derived form conversation with other persons. My impression was that General McDowell had been at Belle Plain, and was familiar with all the circumstances of the case. What other ends he may have had in view, besides those expressed in his directions to me, I did not know.

Question by the COURT. Was there any general rule established by General McDowell defining the quantity of corn or other food to be reserved for persons belonging to the family of the owner?

Answer. None that I know of.

Question by the COURT. Were there any means or sources of information through which the officers and men under the command of General McDowell were instructed as to the special reasons why this order was issued?

Answer. That question I cannot answer. I don't know that there were any, of my own knowledge.

Question by General McDOWELL. Were not the subjects of obtaining supplies and taking property from the inhabitants more especially the duties of the administrative branches of the staff?

Answer. Certainly.

Question by General McDOWELL. Please lay before the court letter of May 16, 1862, to Inspector-General Van Rensselaer, particularly so much as indicates a rule for taking supplies.